Policy report

Private actors and crisis: scrutinising the National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board

Publisher
Transparency Federal government Government accountability Lobbying Open government Australia
Description

This policy brief provides an overview of the National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board (NCC), as well as specific problems entailed by its appointment process, composition, lack of transparency and lack of legislative underpinning.

Key points:

  • The National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board (NCC) advises the government on Australia’s longer-term economic recovery. It comprises commissioners and members of working groups from the private sector, who are personally selected and appointed by the Prime Minister’s office. On 27 July 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the NCC would work ‘within’ government, forming part of Cabinet deliberative processes.
  • Several features of the NCC are of concern, including: a lack of any legislative underpinning and clear, independent appointment process typically expected of publicly-funded bodies; opaque operations; little legal clarity whether it can form ‘part of’ cabinet and rely on cabinet confidentiality; and the absence of a duty to publicly disclose conflicts of interest.
Publication Details
Issue:
Governing During Crises Policy Brief No.4